How to Dress When Going to The Orchestra

You may be worried about how you should dress when you go to see an orchestra. Nobody wants to stand out from the crowd because they are not dressed appropriately. How you should dress depends on whether the orchestral event that you plan to attend will be during the day or night. You need to dress to show respect to the orchestra so do not dress too casually.

Not Too Casual

Some people think jeans are too casual to wear to an orchestral performance. If you do choose to wear jeans make sure they are not ripped jeans but rather a smarter and dressier type of jeans. In addition, you should wear a dressier shirt with the jeans so that you do not have an overall look that is too casual. It is recommended that men wear button down shirts and women wear a smart top. In other words, it is not a good idea to show up wearing a t-shirt and jeans.

Kate Middleton conducts the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra (Photo: PA)

An orchestral performance during the afternoon will not be as formal, so it is fine to wear jeans if you wear smart jeans with a smart top. Women can wear smart dresses or skirts with smart blouses. Jewelry can be worn but it should be tasteful and add to the elegance of your look. Do not overdo it with jewelry, but rather choose a few stylish pieces to complement your overall appearance. Your shoes should also be appropriate and should match your outfit and overall appearance and look.


You should also consider where the performance is being held. In other words, is the performance to be held in a concert hall or is it to be held outdoors in the park. Being outdoors you do not need to be concerned with dressing formally. However, an evening performance in a concert hall will tend to be formal, so bear this in mind. It is best to wear dress pants and if you are a woman you can wear a smart dress or skirt and top. Again, do not dress too casually and an orchestral performance is not the place to show up in some miniskirt or other skimpy clothes. Men should bring a blazer and wear a dress shirt and pants. Also can wear a suit and tie.

Special Events

Clothing that is worn to a performance of the orchestra is usually semi-formal as we have already described. However, if it is opening night or it is a charity performance that you are attending, then formal attire should rather be worn. If you are attending a special event at which the orchestra is playing, then you probably should be prepared to dress up. Men may want to wear tuxedos, or a very smart suit and tie and women may want to wear an evening gown. You really should dress smartly if it is a gala or special event. Carefully consider the orchestral event that you are attending to correctly select the type of clothes you should wear.